The league confirmed today that five players will be suspended in 2023 for betting on NFL games in the 2022 NFL season. Three of the five players will be suspended indefinitely, while two, including Detroit Lions WR Jameson Williams, are suspended for the first six games of the NFL season. While NFL suspensions aren’t rare, gambling-related suspensions come around very infrequently.
NFL Suspends Jameson Williams, 4 Others for Gambling
Among the five are four Lions: Williams, Quintez Cephus, C.J. Moore, and Stanley Berryhill. Williams and Berryhill will miss the first six games of the season but will be allowed to participate in team activities throughout the offseason as well as preseason games. The suspensions will take effect at the final roster cutdown.
Cephus and Moore, along with Washington Commanders defensive end Shaka Toney, are suspended indefinitely. They may petition for reinstatement at the conclusion of the 2023 NFL season.
“The gambling policy, which is annually reviewed with all NFL personnel, including players, prohibits anyone in the NFL from engaging in any form of gambling in any club or league facility or venue, including the practice facility. A league review uncovered no evidence indicating any inside information was used or that any game was compromised in any way.”
According to The 33rd Team Reporter Ari Meirov, the discrepancy in suspension length came down to the details.
“Reason for Jameson Williams and Stanley Berryhill getting six games and not an indefinite suspension: They placed bet on non-NFL games from an NFL team facility,” Meirov tweeted. “That is not allowed. Indefinite suspension is for betting on NFL games.”
Alliance Sports, the agency that represents Williams, acknowledged the difference in their statement regarding their client’s suspension.”…it is important to note that Jameson’s violation was not for betting on football but rather due to a technical rule regarding the actual location in which the online bet was placed – and which would otherwise be allowed by the NFL outside of the club’s facility.”
But NFL players are also prohibited from betting on other sports as well. According to the NFL Gambling Policy:
“2. Betting on Other Sports: All NFL Personnel other than Players are further prohibited from placing, soliciting, or facilitating bets on any other professional (e.g., NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA, USTA, MLS), college (e.g., NCAA basketball), international (e.g., World Baseball Classic, World Cup), or Olympic sports competition, tournament or event.”
However, the league recently updated the policy allowing players to gamble on non-NFL-related sporting events. Still, they can’t do so while at the team facility or during team-related travel.
The Detroit Lions’ official Twitter account announced the team had released Cephus and Moore after the league levied punishment. But the team was already aware of the investigation, according to Eric Woodyard of ESPN.
“As a result of an NFL investigation, it came to our attention that a few of our players had violated the league’s gambling policy,” Lions general manager Brad Holmes said in a statement.
“These players exhibited decision making that is not consistent with our organizational values and violates league rules. We have made the decision to part ways with Quintez and C.J. immediately. We are disappointed by the decision making demonstrated by Stanley and Jameson and will work with both players to ensure they understand the severity of these violations and have clarity on the league rules moving forward.”
Several Lions staffers were dismissed last month for violating the league’s gambling policy.
The Commanders also released a statement:
“We have cooperated fully with the NFL’s investigation since receiving notice and support the league’s findings and actions,” the Commanders said. “All further questions on the topic should be directed to the NFL League Office.”